Army Combat Readiness Test FY18

Department of Army dropped provisional standards for the new Army Combat Readiness Test.

Thoughts?

Army Combat Readiness Test – provisional standards FY18

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Hurricane’s Rain Doesn’t Stop HAVA’s 8th Annual Family Day

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) announced another very successful HAVA/SAPD National Family Day held last week at the SAPD Training Academy. In 8 annual family day events in San Antonio, HAVA has hosted over 1,400 disabled veterans and more than 2,800 including family members since its inception in 2008.
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Tactical Buzzwords to watch for

Tactical Buzzwords to watch for
by Caleb Giddings

We’ve been discussing Derp-Based Training for the past week or so on Gun Nuts, because it’s important to recognize silliness and bad ideas within our own community. Obviously, getting good firearms training isn’t something that everyone is going to do, but if you do choose to get training there are things you can do to make sure that you’re getting quality instruction.

Good firearms techniques should be based on Three Pillars of Radness: Demonstrate, Measure, and Refine. What that means is that your instructor should be capable of demonstrating the techniques he’s teaching. That doesn’t mean they have to demonstrate every single drill, but they should be able to demonstrate the skills they’re imparting to you. For example, if we’re working on revolver reloads, a good instructor should be able to demonstrate the different methods of revo reloads and explain each one. He doesn’t need then to demonstrate a 1-reload-2 drill, which is used for the “Measure” part of training.

Measuring the skill means using an objective standard. How do we do that? Group sizes and timers. Here’s an objective drill: “5 shots with no time limit, all shots must be within the 2 inch circle at 5 yards.” Or for timed skills such as the draw: “draw and fire two shots from the holster at an 8 inch circle with a par time of 2 seconds. Repeat 5x for a total of 10 rounds, you must have 9/10 in the 8 inch circle to pass.” Now, the inverse of this is that not all drills need to necessarily be that detailed, but a good class should use some kind of objective standard to measure performance and improvement. It doesn’t matter if it’s the FAST Drill, El Pres, or the Humbler. If you’re not measuring performance, you’re just fooling yourself.

Finally, refine. Every class I’ve ever gone to, regardless of whether I’ve been the top gun or middle of the pack, the instructors have offered refinements on my technique. “Try doing this differently to get result x” means they’re working to refine my performance on the objective metrics they use to measure performance. Now, refinement is the only pillar that also involves the shooter keeping an open mind. However, if you’ve picked your training class smartly based on the first two pillars, you’re probably in a good position to learn something from the class you’re attending.

Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • The instructor prefaces various drills with “in most real gunfights” or the phrase “in the streets”
  • If the instructor dismisses shooters with advanced skill as “gamers”
  • No use of objective, measurable standards, and bases everything on “feelings”

Remember, the goal of training is to get better. If your class or instructor isn’t providing you an objective way to measure that improvement, than they’re not worth spending your money on. I’ve taken classes from all kinds of different instructors; tactical guys to USPSA Grandmasters and everything in between. Every single one of them provided objective measures of skill, and as a result I’ve benefited from every class I took.

If I had to condense this class into a single rule of thumb, it would be this: “If you class/instructor doesn’t use a timer to measure performance, they’re not worth it.”

Beyond Expert: Story Behind The Book

I had always wanted to write a book about shooting. Turns out, I would be asked to publish it.

While spending 2003-2010 as a mobilized small arms instructor with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program I noticed a trend in the different range of skills found among typical military-trained personnel and skilled marksmen, such as those involved in competition. On average, skilled competition shooter were able to exceed Army “expert” qualification standards by 300% or more. Military qualification standards are such that even an “expert” score may still be a novice-level effort as the course of fire isn’t capable of measuring higher skill.

Note I said “skilled competition shooter.” Not National champion or Olympian, just a competent marksmen among competition shooters. As one of my fellow instructors put it, a shooter that doesn’t finish in the top ten percent at a match isn’t competing, he’s participating. Now, there’s nothing wrong with participation (I still do it sometimes :) but a skilled competitor will manage to top out in the top ten percent of his/her shooting peers. That is good enough to at least earn “leg” points towards a Distinguished badge, earn a Master classification or something similar.

After managing to stumble into the Gunzine game and getting some articles published, I queried an Editor at Harris Publications to write this up. He agreed (see, sometimes gun magazines do publish actual marksmanship material.)

I originally wanted it to be a series of articles but was directed to make it a single, very large article. I titled it 300: Tripling Military Shooting Skills and it published as Shoot 300% Better (http://www.tactical-life.com/magazines/tactical-weapons/shoot-300-better)

Of course, my originally-intended-series-turned-article piece was considerably larger than most. When it wound up in the word processor of a Harris copy editor, he was directed to cut it in half! He sent me the cut-to-fit revision to review in an email with the subject “Buol Chainsaw Massacre.”

Turns out this copy editor was friends with the Editorial Director at Paladin Press. While lamenting over hist chopping and dissecting assignment, he quipped that she should ask me to write a full length book for Paladin about it because, “he practically wrote a damn book about it already.” So I was contacted, contracted and the rest is the ISBN-indexed dead trees package here:

http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Beyond-Expert

What CAN’T Duct Tape Fix?

After finishing a Rifles Only competition course, one of the attendees mentioned having a scoped and barreled action with the Teludyne sleeve on it with no stock. The set up would likely shoot well no matter what stock is sat in.

Accepting the challenge, Jacob Bynum bet he could bet he could put it on a 2×4 with duct tape and successfully zero then shoot it at 1000 yards. No action screws, no bedding, only inletted for trigger, bottom metal, and recoil lug. Just parts strapped to a 2×4 with duct tape.

Zeroing at 100 yards

Shooting at 1000 yards on steel (listen for steel hit)

Lesson learned: Marksmanship skill is more important than equipment.

American Dream 5.56 Charity Rifle Auction

The SIONICS/LAUER CUSTOM rifle on the cover of Rifle Firepower January 2014 is being charity auctioned at GunBroker.com to benefit MARSOCFoundation.org

Harris Publications’ Rifle Firepower magazine is proud to have teamed with SIONICS Weapon Systems on its January 2014 magazine cover. SIONICS’ Patrol I rifle was custom-DuraCoated by Lauer Custom Weaponry to create what’s being dubbed as any rifleman’s American Dream 5.56.

SIONICS is currently auctioning the cover rifle on GunBroker.com. The auction, which can be viewed under the charity auction section, will last for 90 days and will end on January 17, 2014, the last day of SHOT Show. Of special note, SIONICS will donate 100% of the net proceeds to the MARSOC Foundation (MARSOCFoundation.org)

Jump to the auction: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=373959277